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The Time

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The Time is a funk and dance-pop ensemble formed in 1981. They are prominent proteges of Prince and arguably his most successful side project.

The band was assembled under a clause in Prince’s contract with Warner Bros. that allowed him to recruit and produce other artists for the label. Inspired by the 1980 film The Idolmaker, about the life of music promoter and producer Bob Marucci (the svengali figure behind such 50s/early 60s teen idols as Fabian and Frankie Avalon) , Prince decided to put together a poppy funk group that would serve as a pet project and an outlet for further hits and material in the vein of his own early albums while he himself went on to explore other genres and styles in his own career.

By 1981, he had built The Time out of an existing Minneapolis funk unit, “Flyte Tyme” (from the Donald Byrd song), which featured Jellybean Johnson on drums, Jimmy Jam and Monte Moir on keyboards, and Terry Lewis on bass. To this base were added Jesse Johnson on guitar and a lead singer and childhood friend named Morris Day, drawn from another local band called “Enterprise”. Prince had used an Enterprise song, “Partyup”, on his Dirty Mind album, and his selection of Day was essentially a reward; he had originally tapped Alexander O’Neal - yet another player in the Minneapolis Uptown funk scene - for the vocalist slot, but O’Neal wanted too much money.

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